Ugg unveils omni-channel store

Nov 14, 2014

As part of its aggressive push into omni-channel retailing, Ugg Australia, the fashionable sheepskin boot brand, just opened its first-ever technology-driven concept store, located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The highlight of the store is the use of RFID technology to allow consumers trying on merchandise to view digitally triggered content on four 65-inch HD touchscreens throughout the store. The content includes product information and options, style tips, videos, related marketing campaigns, and suggested complementary products. Using the screens, consumers can send themselves text messages that include a product link.

The screens are designed to help dissolve the lines between online and in-store sales. Beyond shopping the nearly 230 SKUs on display inside the store, customers have access to an "endless aisle" of Ugg products across its e-commerce website.

The assortment is further extended by two customization programs:

  • The "Ugg By You" program enables consumers to come up with their own takes on five classic styles: Classic Mini, Classic Short, Bailey Bow, Bailey Button and Fluff Flip-Flop.
  • With the "Bling It On" program, consumers can add Swarovski crystal patterns and other "statement-making looks" to their Ugg staples.

Free Wi-Fi enables consumers to more easily share their shopping experiences through social networks.

For their part, sales associates are equipped with iPads to answer product questions, provide customer service support, and complete e-commerce purchase transactions for items not available on the sales floor. Select Ugg online orders can be shipped overnight for free or picked up in-store.

"Omni-channel isn’t just a catchphrase for Deckers; it’s an integral part of our culture of innovation and our retail strategy — one that we’ve made investments in for more than five years now — to engage with our consumers with respect to their preferred shopping channel," said Dave Powers, president of omni-channel for Deckers Brands, the parent of Ugg. "That strategy is on full display at the Ugg store, where we are merging the best of digital and physical shopping experiences, and setting the foundation for future omni capabilities across our brands."

The store is located at Tysons Galleria in McLean, VA.

What’s spot-on and what’s missing from Ugg’s omni-channel store? Does the touchscreen display foretell how RFID’s promise may go beyond inventory counting and quick checkout?

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6 Comments on "Ugg unveils omni-channel store"

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Marge Laney
7 years 6 months ago

I like it all, especially equipping sales associates with iPads. Engaging with customers personally to help them make their buying decisions, and being able to check them out through the use of this technology on the spot, is in-store tech done right.

I also like the idea of the screens that allow customers to personalize their purchases. Not only does this tech help create an emotional bond with the customer, these screens give them something to do while waiting for personal service in a busy store.

Gene Detroyer
7 years 6 months ago

This is not unlike the concept of the Corso Como store I posted a few days ago, only better. 230 SKUs plus an endless aisle. Great customer engagement, far beyond what any salesperson could accomplish. Salespeople with tools to further engage customers. This is truly showrooming and the future of brick-and-mortar retail.

Bill Davis
7 years 6 months ago

Many positive capabilities here including the RFID triggered content, and the endless aisle expanding the product assortment beyond what’s in-store as well as enabling Wi-Fi in store. Kudos to Ugg for their efforts.

From my perspective, one item not covered in the article is how does Ugg identify when a loyalty or repeat customer has crossed the threshold of a store and then deliver a corresponding level of service to that individual? Omni-channel is all about supporting the customer buying decision as it meanders across sales channels, so being able to recognize when a more valuable customer has entered the store and tailor their experience seems useful to me. And no mention of how Ugg is using mobile in-store for consumer engagement.

Excellent initial steps, but the journey is just beginning.

Seeta Hariharan
7 years 6 months ago

Physical stores aren’t going away. This is another great example of physical-digital integration.

Burberry and now Ugg are enhancing the customer engagement by bringing the digital experiences into their brick-and-mortar stores.

Lee Kent
7 years 6 months ago

I am on a quest these days. I am investigating path-to-purchase touch points in order to determine how/where they demonstrate value to the customer. How they help motivate the consumer to buy. This has it in spades!

And that’s my two cents!

Christina Ellwood
Christina Ellwood
7 years 6 months ago

It’s not RFID per se that is significant—they could be using other trigger technologies such as Beacons or NFC tags. The key is the use of triggers and empowering both the shopper and the store associate. Ugg has done a nice job of enhancing the customer’s experience and opportunity to create personalized product. Both are significant. Using technology in the store to understand, respond and enhance the customer’s experience is where all brick-and-mortar retailers need to go—from specialty retailers to grocers to malls.


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